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05-08-2017 13:33 | Read 36 times

Calls to end embargoes on sports after 'friendly'

A “FRIENDLY” football match between Turkish and Greek Cypriot sides has renewed calls for an end to long-standing sports embargoes imposed on the TRNC.

Calls to end embargoes on sports after 'friendly'

By KEREM HASAN

Last week’s controversial game at the Beltinci Stadium in Toplica, Slovenia, saw Turkey's Karademir Karabükspor beat the South’s Limassol FC 2-1.

Among leading sports figures reacting to the game was Cyprus Turkish Football Association (KTFF) president Hasan Sertoğlu, who said: “When are we going to strive to end the imposed embargoes...or are we going to continue on our own path, a term that has lately become fashionable?”

Referring to efforts to unite Turkish Cypriot football with Greek Cypriot-run Cyprus Football Association (KOP), which ended in failure, Mr Sertoğlu said: “I wonder what those people who criticised us back then will say now?

“All we tried to do was to open the road for our youth to play internationally. In 2013, we faced a lot of insults and threats after we started the KOP process, which was ended by the Greek Cypriots. I think it can be more understandable following this [game] as to why we persisted so much.

“Has the time to end the immoral sports embargoes on our youth not arrived? When are we going to act together to end these embargoes on our youth?”

He highlighted the need to lobby and undertake work for ending international sports embargoes against the TRNC “with the help and support of Turkey”, adding: “Let’s come together today and start.” 

The groundbreaking deal to unite football in Cyprus was signed in Zurich on November 5, 2013, between the two football authorities and former Fifa president Sepp Blatter– but ended after Greek Cypriot officials demanded to see the “registration” documents of KTFF to “prove its existence”.

 

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